Survivors are living a shared nightmare

THE survivors of a freak accident that killed Australian cyclist Amy Gillett are riding an emotional roller coaster, feeling shame and joy at being alive, sadness for their friend and fear for their future. Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) head of performance psychology Michael Martin said Gillett's teammates were struggling to come to terms with their emotions following Tuesday's fatal accident when a runaway car mowed down the six Australians during training south of Leipzig, Germany. "It's an emotional roller coaster from them,'' Martin said. "They're experiencing sadness at the loss of a teammate and a friend, they're obviously experiencing the joy of being alive, they're feeling shame for feeling that joy of being alive, they've got fear about the future, about how they'll recover from their injuries.''

The Australian Sports Commission's provided counsellors for the cyclists, family, friends, coaches, support staff and other athletes around the world. AIS psychologist Rosanna Stanimirovic was on holidays in Croatia at the time of the accident and rushed to Germany to be with the five injured Australians, Mr Martin said. Alexis Rhodes, 20, of South Australia, and Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, 23, remain in a critical condition but Ms Stanimirovic has been sharing a room with Katie Brown, 21, of NSW, Kate Nichols, 20, of NSW, and Lorian Graham, 27, of Rockhampton, to help them cope when they wake up during the night with nightmares and flashbacks.

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